Lost in the outback : Part 2 and 3

Below is the response I received from David Heslin and family to my previous post about Hilton Park which can be found here. It was posted on his personal Facebook page (which I have blocked) and I was informed of it by an ex-employer of theirs that has no nice things to say about them. Within 48hrs I received hate comments and private messages from a group of people that I can imagine all either live in/around the area and/or know this family. I’ve purposely kept these comments public and copied his account below because the attacks do nothing to threaten me – only the truth can hurt.

 

Lost in the outback, a tale of true terror Part 2, by David Heslin and Co.

“This Chapter is no tale, Kelly came to work for us to do her 88 days rural work, though she did stay for 105 days. We have employed 90 to 100 people over the last 15 years, many of whom have been backpackers to complete their time to gain a second year visa. We are a private operation and we pride ourselves on managing a successful efficient business. We work tirelessly seldom few days off work. Every year we try to have a summer holiday depending on rain, Kelly was employed at this time to take care of our beloved homestead, garden and farm animals. Kelly claims in her blog it was the most terrifying time of her life on a remote cattle station 400 km from our local pub. We actually live 500 meters from town at Julia creek QLD, you can walk to the local hotel in 6 minutes and the police station is about 5 minutes. She also had her own car on the property.
This is fabricated the whole story from the first lines she wrote, she is a blogger and loves to write about drama and adventure, Kelly is a far left wing extremist, very unhygienic sad strange lazy person.
Yes we do have licenced weapons, mostly to eradicate all vermin from our properties. Of all the backpackers and Australians we have employed, about 10% were unemployable though we have made many lifelong friends, unfortunately for Kelly she is not one of them. We do struggle at times to find enough positions available as many have returned several times to work here and enjoy what we do. Before we left for our annual holiday Kelly remarked how wonderful and exciting it was. Free helicopter rides, mustering cattle, a lush garden, farm animals and a new 200 series land cruiser station wagon to drive into the local pool for 2 hours every day. No mention of wolf creek! On our return we were shocked to find a dead lawn, wilted plants, several chickens missing and 1 of the most well-bred baby foals was dead in her care.
Our beautiful family home that she stayed in was a filthy stinking mess, she is not one for housekeeping. As soon as she was gone the better was all we wanted now. She also played a major role in the separation between our staff on another one of our properties here, she put the local police onto him and now a baby boy is fatherless. She also tried the same between us, with her sinister sick mind games. She is a very unsavoury sad person. We lead a very busy lifestyle, sometimes hectic. We have better things to do with our time than to have to write to defend ourselves from someone unhinged such as Kelly. To say we are bigots and prejudiced is absurd, we have both worked with talented aboriginal stockman and women of this country throughout child hood and working adult life, as such we still have them in our employment. All who have been employed here would rate our meals, accommodation and conditions, we all work hard and practice a safe working environment. It is very important that everyone is home together for the evening meal. We have been contacted by a couple who had a similar sort of problem with her. So please be aware if you do employ her or engage in any sort of conversation you may be her next victim. A couple of Australian girls came to our defence on social media have now been blocked for questioning her story because they could see through her made up story.
In summarizing Kelly from an employer’s point of view, we would say she is defiantly unemployable. So whether you are a rural employer in the hospitality industry so forth. We would not recommend her for any position in Australia or anywhere in the world. The best thing she could do for Australians is to return to New Mills.
To all our friends who know us, Thank you and to anyone that doesn’t you can make up your own mind.
From us all here at Hilton Park.
if possible please repost to all your friends to try and avoid this happening to anyone else that comes in contact with her.”

Before I continue I would just like to say that Part 3 is to clarify a few points that I feel are important to strengthen my previous post. It is certainly not for the benefit of the haters and their comments, but for the other young backpackers heading to Queensland for their 88 days. In the meantime, this new wave of attention has succeeded in bringing over 6,000 people to read my personal account at Hilton Park. Thank you to those that have inadvertently helped me to accomplish my aim.

There are three things I would like to clarify in particular.

The question I have been asked the most is “why did you stay for the entire 3.5 months if you were that terrified?!” – it is a good question and one I would find myself asking if I had read an account like this. So let me explain…

1. Having returned from Blackbull station (a 400km drive north of Julia Creek), I had to endure one more week of David’s presence before the family headed to Brisbane for the next 2.5 months, leaving me alone to look after the house, garden and their animals. David is very good at playing two people – the disgusting creep away from his wife, and an almost mute when she is around. I turned down offers of after-dinner drinking and headed back to my quarters soon after dinner was over, (which was almost always only spent with the other worker of theirs, ‘deadly Dave’) and kept my head down doing the garden work. The only other time I was alone with David, was when he came back for an unexpected few days (I was notified late afternoon the day before). A few days became 4, and it wasn’t until 8 days later that he went back to join his wife. During these 8 days I was offered money for sex and told about a revolting dream he had about me. By this point I was 2/3 of my way through, and I was heavily focused on my 2nd year visa. When they came home for the remainder 5 days, David had nothing to say to me and could barely look me in the eye. Jennifer was ecstatic over the new plants I had put in the garden, and I introduced them to 6 beautiful new chicks that had hatched a few days earlier.
2. I had driven my own car to their homestead and never had any problems with it during a 5 week road trip up the coast. The day after arriving, my car would not start. David assured me twice before they went away that they would fix it, and having failed at the attempt twice, they would call their mechanic friend. When the mechanic did finally take a look at it (2 months later) there was a loose connection that took all of 5 minutes to locate. I didn’t get my car looked at sooner as I was expected to remain on the property at all times except for 2hrs over lunch – this was my personal time and I wanted nothing more than to escape to the swimming pool.
3. At the beginning I had a lot of respect for Jennifer as she made me feel welcome and safe. The thought of her not being aware of her husbands actions appalled me. I’d agreed to work for them for 3.5 months and I don’t let people down easily. As they were going away, I agreed with myself that I could get the job done and stay away from further hassle at the same time. After leaving the property, I sent Jennifer a personal letter outlining everything in this blog, and she did not even find the decency to pick up the phone and talk with me. I was told he ripped the letter up and seemingly life is going on as normal. All respect has been lost.
4. The fourth and main reason I stayed is incredibly private and is not for me to digress, as it involves another person’s traumatic experience. The fact that David insensitively touched upon it in his reply, just supports how incredibly desperate he is to find things to hold against me. Especially as he was not in town when it all happened. I was not prepared to walk away from someone that needed a friend for support. I will go as far as saying that my own mental well-being was worth jeopardising for this person. It is very difficult for me to swallow that people doubt my experience because I chose to stay for 3.5 months, and as much as I wish I could clarify further on this subject, it is not my place to do so.

Now let me move on to the part that describes me as an animal killer…

“…several chickens missing and 1 of the most well-bred baby foals was dead in her care.”

This is rather ironic as I was harassed for being a vegetarian on more than one occasion, and told not to pet the dogs too much because they were there to work.
Whilst I was left alone at the house, I was responsible for taking care of 10 working dogs, 2 pet dogs, around 20 chickens, half-wild brumbies and guinea fowl. I should point out that the working dogs weren’t my original responsibility, but of an employee of theirs that lived in the area. He is a renowned alcoholic and stopped turning up to check on the dogs roughly 4 or 5 days after David and co left. To be honest this was a blessing in disguise as they would not have been let out of their cages (with no shade in 40 degree heat) for 2 months had I not taken over their care.
It was the same man that caused the death of the beautiful foal. These brumbies live on a large field attached to Hilton Park, and for most of the time I could barely spot them on the horizon. During the hottest part of the day, that man ran in 4 horses, including the mother and foal using an extremely loud quad bike. The foal arrived in the yard overheating, confused and with a terrible gash to its leg. I checked it a few times that evening and in the morning it was found dead next to its mother.
Before they left for Brisbane, 2 chickens were found dead in their pen on a day that hit almost 50 degrees. When they returned they gathered up 5-6 chickens and I’m not sure where they ended up.

David proudly beat his dogs to get them to do what he wanted, he electrocuted cattle to get them to move, his beloved puppy was hit and threatened with a bullet for stealing shoes and when he had no animals to take his anger out on, he verbally and physically attacked his co-workers. The other men at Blackbull witnessed him smack ‘deadly Dave’ hard in the ribs because he did not do the job as requested.

And finally,

let’s look at the obvious; why didn’t they get rid of me if I was doing such a bad job?
Before they are able to spin something similar to “she was there alone and never socialised, so we didn’t know the state of the place until we returned”, I’ll highlight the facts.
They had a young boy working for them for the previous 2 years (Mr Deadly), who was also on the property whilst they went away. It is no secret that we despised each other. I’ve no doubt that he would have been watching my every move and reporting back. This boy supposedly spent hours on getting the garden to its beautiful state, not Jennifer, and he knew exactly what needed doing around the house. As it was the summer season, there wasn’t a great deal for the boy to do, so I’m sure he could have handled the situation until they came back, had they asked me to leave.

To read their claims of my personal hygiene and work ethic caused me to choke on my cup of tea. Not only is it laughable, but it is a weak, insignificant argument against very serious sexual harassment claims. But did I expect anything less when they do not have anything real against me?

To summarise, I’d like to reiterate that the entire point of my previous post was to highlight my personal experience to other backpackers. To warn them and prevent a worse case scenario playing out in the future. I did not to go the police because it is my word against his. David told me that he’d had two other girls attempt to accuse him, and he got the police on his side. The internet has become a very powerful tool in recent years, and in this case I truly believe it is my best outlet. Perhaps if the police are aware, they will wait for a couple of more incidences before it is taken seriously. And what needs to happen for it to be taken seriously?
To all the young backpackers reading this, I ask you to just take care when heading to the outback and remember whom you are. It is all too easy to get lost, not just geographically but on a more personal level, when you are surrounded by such insular mentality.
No matter what response this receives, it will not cause me to back down, nor will it cause me anger, pain, sadness or shock. David will continue to be the slimy creep if he is given chance and Jennifer will continue to pretend life resembles the roses in her garden.

Don’t give him the chance.

This is the 21st century and it is about time Hilton Park caught up with the times.

4 Comments

  1. I can completely appreciate why you stayed and completed your days and personally I think it shows great strength of character, resilience and bravery on your part. It’s disturbing how many similar stories you hear about outback 88 day work and how few and far between the ‘I had an amazing time’ ones are. I still have 21 days to go and think I’ll stick to fruit picking, as my experience on an outback farm for 7 weeks was not great either. No where near as bad as yours thankfully but the man I worked for was definitely what you’d describe as a bully and the words ‘come on you can do this’ we’re on a broken record going round my head 24/7. I’d also like to add for the record and anyone reading who doesn’t know Kelly personally, I am a friend of Kelly’s from a while ago and the person David describes is so far from the Kelly I know it’s almost laughable. And to Kelly, good on you for outing them for what they are. It’s great that you have a platform to do it, unlike a lot of backpackers and I applaud you for doing so!

    1. Nia, thank you for taking the time to comment here and offer your support. I’m sorry to hear you came across another brutish bloke in the outback. Good for you for walking away early and all the best finding an enjoyable place to complete the last 21 days.

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